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Pentacle - La Clef Des Songes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 97 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Like many one-album wonders from the seventies' progressive rock scene, the music of French symphonic prog act Pentacle didn't receive very much recognition until fairly recently. A CD reissue from Musea Records and a legion of prog fans expressing their love for the album through internet forums have all helped Pentacle finally get some of the attention they deserve, but their sole effort La Clef Des Songes still remains pretty obscure over 35 years since its release. A real shame, as I consider this one of the best French albums released during the golden age of symphonic prog. As history would prove, this rather short album would end up being the only work ever created by Pentacle, but at least the band has left us with a half hour of splendid music. La Clef Des Songes is a forgotten gem that deserves to be heard by every progressive rock fan.

La Clef Des Songes opens up on a high note with its powerful and downright haunting title track, and the rest of this 34 minute album is every bit as good. "L'āme Du Guerrier" is another highlight, with its chilling builds and excellent synthesizer melodies drawing me in from the very beginning, and the epic "Le Raconteur" is a perfect way to close the album. Pentacle definitely took the saying 'quality over quantity' to heart, as all six tracks on La Clef Des Songes are superb - it's a real shame that the band didn't go on to release more albums in the coming years. If this debut is indicative of anything at all, these guys would've had a very bright future ahead of them.

La Clef Des Songes was originally released in 1975, and in many ways the album sounds like it couldn't have been from any other time period. The heavy use of synthesizers makes it feel different than many early seventies' symphonic prog albums, but the rather raw production and very progressive compositions means that it doesn't sound like a typical late seventies' album either - in many ways, Pentacle's pastoral and spacey approach to symphonic prog sounds like a combination of Genesis, Premiata Forneria Marconi, and Pink Floyd with a heavier dependence on lead synthesizer tones than any of the aforementioned acts. The keyboard palette is also made up of plenty of organs and mellotrons, but it's really the chilling synthesizer that sets Pentacle apart from many other progressive rock acts from the mid-seventies'. The band's unique arrangements make this a pretty original album in many regards; it doesn't sound specifically like any single other band, but instead like a mix of the very best sounds that progressive rock has to offer.

Although La Clef Des Songes was only Pentacle's debut effort, this is a mature and all-around exceptional album that should be heard by every symphonic progressive rock fan. In spite of its rather obscure status, this is one of the most essential French prog albums from the 1970's, and deserves to be regarded as such - this can only be described as a beautiful, haunting, and compelling journey.

J-Man | 4/5 |


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